Thomasville Times Enterprise

March 15, 2014

Nails price of forgiveness

Rev. Milton Gardner

— I was a little boy during the days of World War II. There were many things that were in short supply. Certain food and clothing items were rationed because of America’s fight for survival.

One of the items not available to the general public was nails. All of the metal available went into ships, planes and tanks for the war effort.

Nails became a very precious commodity. As a child, I remember finding old boards with rusty, bent nails in them. I would extract them one by one, spend whatever time necessary to straighten them and save them for whatever project I had in mind. I never possessed any real carpentry skills but I loved to drive nails into wood. I still do.

Today, I have boxes and sacks filled with nails of all sizes. I’m no longer careful with nails. If one bends, I just throw it away.

In retrospect, I have learned that some nails will always be precious. They are the nails that impaled Jesus to the cross. It was a recognition of that fact that convinced one of Jesus’ disciples to truly believe. It was Thomas who declared, “ . . . Except I see in his hands the print of the nails . . . I will not believe.” (John 20:25) Thomas saw the scars left by the nails and he declared, “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)

Paul reflected on the purpose of those nails in his letter to the Colossians. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.” (Col.1:14) Indeed those nails were the price of our forgiveness when we believe.